Piling Canada

Half of businesses have increased priority on disaster preparedness since the start of Covid-19

Industry News
Written by Piling Canada
July 2021

First Onsite Property Restoration released a survey of Canadian businesses that takes the pulse of how they prioritize emergency preparedness. The survey reveals that more than half of businesses (52 per cent) have placed an increased priority on disaster preparedness since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. Although managers have realized the importance of preparedness and planning for business continuity, only two-in-five businesses are very confident that their company is prepared to deal with future emergencies or disasters.

First Onsite, surveyed managers, owners, executives and employees at 500 companies to find out what types of disasters they had encountered, and the level of preparedness they felt they had in place.

Four-in-five Canadian businesses have been interrupted for one of several reasons over the past five years. Of those who have experienced interruptions, the pandemic leads the way with 77 per cent of business interruptions over the past five years.

Surveyed during the third wave of the pandemic and lockdowns, the study found only 37 per cent of businesses feel fully prepared to deal with future emergencies or disasters. Meanwhile, one-in-10 feel this isn’t an urgent concern, seven per cent feel they are not investing the appropriate amount, five per cent have been putting this off due to resource constraints and three per cent are unprepared or don’t know enough about the topic.

Surveyed during the third wave of the pandemic and lockdowns, the study found only 37 per cent of businesses feel fully prepared to deal with future emergencies or disasters.

“Major incidents can include anything from wildfires to full-scale floods, ice storms and hurricanes. However, it doesn’t have to be weather related to take a business offline as we have seen through the pandemic lockdowns,” said Bill Fender, SVP commercial property portfolios, at First Onsite Property Restoration. “Businesses in all industries are faced with a unique challenge – hibernating commercial facilities that are left vacant and unattended. This is a new problem that business owners and property managers haven’t faced on this scale before.”

When respondents were asked which types of future disasters they were concerned about affecting their business, pandemics again took the lead with 75 per cent of businesses expressing concern about pandemics affecting their business.

Proactive planning for business continuity

To understand how businesses prepare, the poll asked how often disaster recovery plans are tested and only 46 per cent of businesses test/review plans at least once a year. Twelve per cent of businesses never test/review their plan and eight per cent do not have a disaster recovery plan at all.

Twenty-eight per cent of businesses have a preferred disaster response restoration partner already in place. The top three services they value most from a disaster response/restoration company are speed of response (47 per cent), knowledge and expertise (39 per cent) and “gets my business back online, avoiding long-term disruption” (36 percent).

“For the businesses that don’t have a restoration provider in place, this should be the next step in their emergency planning to ensure business continuity,” said Fender. “Disaster plans, once only required for government, are now being insisted upon by corporate boards, bond rating agencies, investors, insurers and customers. Once plans are in place, it’s critical to test them on a regular basis.”

Emergency response planning

Emergencies can strike without warning. First Onsite’s Priority Response Emergency Plan can accelerate a company’s recovery through preparedness planning, rapid response, expert mitigation and business continuity.

“It’s critical for property restoration experts to understand the client’s infrastructure. That way, when a fire or flood happens, we already know the company’s needs and can be on site immediately to begin remediation, leading to a quicker recovery and minimized disruption,” said Fender. “We have seen firsthand how businesses that plan ahead are much more resilient and functioning more quickly after facing a disaster than those that have no restoration partner in place, nor planning for how to respond to an unforeseen emergency.” Piling Canada

Category: Industry News

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Piling Canada is the premier national voice for the Canadian deep foundation construction industry. Each issue is dedicated to providing readers with current and informative editorial, including project updates, company profiles, technological advancements, safety news, environmental information, HR advice, pertinent legal issues and more.

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